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SAP Invites Customers, Partners to Dance on its Industry Cloud

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The days of tired, old legacy applications developed by Oracle and loved by few will soon be over. At least that’s what SAP has in mind.

And in the age of cloud, collaboration and app stores, does it make sense for a software company to sit in some ivory tower building solutions that tell you how to do your job? Or would it be smarter for a vendor that has deep industry and development experience to partner with customers and developers to build products and services that delight?

The answer, we think, is plain to anyone; yet it’s not an approach that many software or solution vendors have taken.

At least until now.

Generation Next

This morning, just in advance of Sapphire Now, SAP’s user conference in Orlando, Fla., SAP will unveil its Industry cloud. It will bring its breadth and depth of industry expertise, built over a period of more than forty years and across 25 industries, and invite its customers and partners to leverage it as well as its established infrastructure to co-innovate and co-develop the next generation of enterprise applications.

Good idea? We think so, provided SAP is serious about it. And they certainly seem to be.

After all, it's created a dedicated organization around the initiative and appointed Simon Paris to lead it. Up until today Paris was president, global head of Strategic Industries at SAP.

But SAP isn’t the only party that matters in this equation. There are partners, customers and developers (whom we’ll hear more about later) to consider.

While SAP has set the table, will they come to eat?

As far as we can tell, so far, the answer is yes. SAP has pointed to nine separate industries in which solutions have already been built. They’re hoping to be at least 25 this time next year.

What's It All About?

And what does this mean to other enterprise software vendors?

Disruption.

Or, as SAP's Christoph Behrendt, senior vice president, Application Innovation, and head of Suite and Industry Platform Unit, puts it:

We intend to shake things up for the market and ourselves by asking a new generation of customers to help us solve their next-generation business problems. They can imagine forward-looking industry-specific use cases better than any team of in-house software developers.”

While he certainly presents a vision, it brings a bet with it as well; namely, as Behrendt puts it, “that Industry IT leaders are going to embrace a partnership that brings together their needs with the deep industry expertise of SAP to co-innovate elegant, simple solutions for the cloud.”

We’re sold, but time will tell.

Title image by brickrena / Shutterstock.

 
 
 
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